Job Hunting

Tomorrow is the first day of my first i’m-out-of-college-and-a-big-girl-now job in the real corporate world.

I am very nervous.

I have prepared for this day essentially since the day I stepped foot on a college campus to get the degree that would propel me into the world. Back then I had no idea where I would work, what I would do, or even know what I wanted to accomplish in my life.

Tomorrow I will enter my unnamed workplace and begin a job that will probably be mine for the next 1-5-10 years depending on how it goes.

I even bought my own lunch box. It’s black and white and contains multiple containers for various sizes of foods. The little things get me, down to the new daily organizer and colored sticky notes.

I don’t even know what type of desk I will have or if it will have enough room for one of those amazing nameplate things that I have always wanted. I have the framed diploma, but I may save that until I have an office with a window and a door. I have my outfit laid out like the first day of school circa fourth grade, although pumps and a pencil skirt are a far cry from jumpers and stirrup leggings. After all, it isn’t 1998 anymore.

So tomorrow think of me in my pumps and pencil skirt, navigating a new environment, making new contacts and trying my very best to be good at my new job.

Any first day advice would be appreciated!


Allison Smith on Using Social Media to Land First Job


Last week as I got my first job offer, I thought back to everything that had got me there and decided to write a list for future entry job seekers.

I am also being interviewed by a blog called Do You Buzz this week on my job searching skills, be sure to check it out!

1. Ask for Advice

At school, I was fortunate enough to have an excellent career counselor in my career development office, who was my ultimate cheerleader and friend throughout my search. Find one at your college by contacting the career office and if you can, go and meet with this person. I went to career development once a week for months trying to gleam any advice or help that I could from an experienced professional. We did resume development, mock interviews, job fair tutorials and a lot of venting!

2. Use social media to its full advantage

For my job search, I used the social media sites Twitter and LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social networking tool for business professionals to connect and share advice as well as look for jobs. Building a profile on LinkedIn is easy and free. I recommend reading the article How to Rank Higher On LinkedIn by Lewis Howes for tips on building a better profile. Joining and participating in groups is also key to finding mentors in your targeted industry.

Twitter is an excellent way to be noticed online. You can “tweet” your job preferences and use the hash tag feature so that you can be searchable to employers. I also recommend using #HireFriday, because people will help tweet your resume and preferences. Hire Friday is a great community and I am grateful to them.

3. The Right Resume

Ask everyone you know to review your resume! I have had about 20 people critique mine and everyone has something different to add to the discussion. I recommend having your peers as well as HR professionals and industry veterans take a look. I also have an online resume at Do You Buzz, which includes the feed from this blog.

4. Interview Etiquette

Learn how to interview by reading articles, watching videos and asking advice from HR professionals. Also, when in doubt always dress up, not down.

5. Not All Job Postings Are Equal

Try a vast amount of job sites in your job search. Do not limit yourself to one or two, but rather put your resume out there to all sorts of postings. I do not recommend Monster or Career Builder, but I love LinkedIn posting and Simply Hired, which takes job postings from various sites and makes them searchable by area or keywords. Also, do not rule out a credible Craig list posting, because some small companies who do not have funds to post on a pay per post job site often advertise there.

Great Job Advice Accounts on Twitter
@HRMargo, @BrazenCareerist, @CAREERREALISM, @WSJCareers, @doyoubuzz, @MsCareerGirl, @newgradlife

Do you agree/disagree with my advice? Have you had luck with social media and job searching? Let me know!

I have been worried about getting a job since January. Seriously, I have had lots of anxiety about being unemployed after this summer with my internship ending in August. What would I do for insurance? Would I have to go on unemployment?!

Then, this week, came my very first job offer out of college, utilizing the ever important degree (Communications)  and I accepted. I will not reveal the name for privacy reasons, but I will be a marketing assistant in the technology industry. I am beyond thrilled that someone wants me for their company in such a difficult economic time. Yet I am HIRED!

How long is it taking other entry-level job seekers to find a permanent position?

I know that you may feel a bit saturated with my job seeking articles lately, but I hope this one makes you laugh and gives you some important pointers.

I am interested to read articles about job interviews to prepare me for what is in store when I meet with a potential employer for the first time. Interviews can turn completely disastrous if the unexpected curveball question comes your way or your interviewer simply dismisses you the moment he or she locks eyes with you. I came up with a few interview mistakes to avoid when meeting with a company, even if it may be for the first time.

1. No Resume, No References

I never go to any interview without at least a resumé. Oh and please make it one to two pages! Some resumes use varying fonts, sizes and other fancy design techniques that never really matter to an interviewer anyway. Mine is one page, black ink on white paper and printed on resume stock. It is the gold standard! Avoid doing an Elle Woods-esque pink scented resume…it was never a good idea anyway.

2. Limp Like a Fish Handshake

One of my biggest pet peeves is meeting someone who has the worst handshake in the entire world! It is terrible, mostly because it shows a lack of confidence and desire to impress the interviewer. Some people have those sticky clammy hands that sweat when nervous and that grosses me out even more. Practice the handshake, a firm grip pressing your thumb into the web of the other person’s thumb. It always works!

3. The Late Person

The person who is late to an interview, particularly without an excuse, is probably the worst person for the job. Go to the site early and scope out the lay of the land, you will thank yourself later!

4. The Person With Embarrassing Facebook Photos

Social networking is one of my favorite activities but I keep my personal social life separate from my professional life online. If you Google my name, only my professional websites will appear in the search results. KEEP FACEBOOK ON LOCK DOWN JOB SEEKERS! Some people have no idea that recruiters and interviewers check Facebook for each individual candidate and those keg stand pictures from college can come back to bite you.

5. Shoes Shoes Shoes

Scuffed shoes are not attractive. Wear your best shoes or even borrow from a friend. Your interview is presenting you at your best, so do not skimp on the minor details of your dress and appearance.

6. The Show Off

Showing off and acting like you own the place is never something to do in an interview. After all, you are asking THE COMPANY for a job. The company can probably find 10 of you on the street, so having a big cocky ego is not good in this case. Burning bridges to future employment by showing off = no job.

I hope you enjoyed my tips. Do you have any of your own to share? A job interview horror story?

Job hunting is hard, especially in today’s economy aka the recession. As a recent college graduate I am finding that the interview process is not as easy as I hoped it would be but I am trying to get through and eventually land my dream position.

Last week, I was profiled in another blog called DoYouBuzz, which is a resumé building website. I had sent out a tweet the previous Friday as part of an ongoing campaign called #HireFriday, which connects job seekers with recruiters. I crafted my own “tweet” and provided a link to my LinkedIn account. Here is the article that shows my tweet and talks about #HireFriday:

Tomorrow, I will be profiled in a prominent entry-level career columnist’s blog on the website so be sure to look for it this week! The goal of the profile, which I wrote myself, is to introduce myself to recruiters and hopefully land a great public relations or communications position. Wish me luck!

Job hunting may be hard, but the Internet provides me with so many useful tools to get my name out to the hiring world. I regularly send out resumes and cover letters and hope for the best. Sometimes an interview never comes about and the rejection can hurt, but I usually move on and do not let myself get discouraged.

I love writing and really hope that it will be possible for me to begin a career in writing in the next few months. My first book may take a while to get published, but it is what really makes me happy. Look out world, here I come!